• No gas, no problem for some Merrimack Valley residents celebrating Thanksgiving


    North Andover, Mass. - Hundreds of families in the Merrimack Valley are still without heat and hot water after the gas explosions in September. 

    But in the spirit of the holidays, the residents of Merrimack Valley are making the most of what they do have. 

    Starting Thursday morning, Columbia Gas will be giving out more than 2,400 turkeys to people in all three towns effected, including North Andover -- where folks are ready to celebrate Thanksgiving regardless the circumstances. 

    In North Andover alone, more than 30% of the affected homes still don't have gas. Crews were out restoring service in the area of Waverley St. near the center of town, where several people said they plan on picking up their Thanksgiving meals provided by the gas company. 

    Despite the odds against them, most people are figuring out ways to host Thanksgiving and whip together a home cooked meal.

    "We will buy turkey. and make salad, mashed potatoes, cake," says North Andover resident, Anna Bannister. "We will celebrate like we have guests. We will all have food!"

    Bannister's son brought her a plug-in electric burner -- which along with her microwave, will be doing most of the work to feed her family this year.

    Columbia Gas says as of Tuesday, gas service has been restored to more than 5,300 residential meters. North Andover's town manager, Andrew Maylor, anticipates everyone in his town will have heat and hot water back by December 2. 

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